A couple of weekends ago, I somewhat spontaneously planned a trip to Chicago with my old roomie, Angie. Angie used to live in Chicago and loved it. I had always planned to come visit her but then she came back to Maryland. Boo on her. The big visit to Chicago was one of those things we both said “we should do sometime!” but never really got around to committing to it. I finally said f it – and planned the damn trip.
We flew out of BWI at 6am (!!) and I waited until the last minute to pack. This meant that I forgot to pack: my camera, my glasses and my contact lens case. I also forgot to check if my iPod Nano was charged since I was planning on running when I was there. If you’re wondering – it wasn’t charged. Awesome.
So – Angie finally sent me the pictures. She sent me 116 pictures and bless her little heart for snapping so many random pictures. Since I forgot my camera and had never been to Chicago, Angie took pictures of everything. For your sake, I’m only posting a few (which I’m sure will bore the shit out of you but whatever… you don’t have to read! I just figured I should post pictures of something other than my dogs).
Putting on some makeup on the train from the airport into the downtown area. Hot stuff.
Posing in front of the Hancock building that we never actually went into because we didn't feel like it
Chicago has the prettiest buildings. I have no idea what is significant about any of these buildings... just posing in front of them
Look! More buildings in Chicago!
We took a Double Decker tour of the city... mostly so we could see Harpo Studios. But look - McDonald's!
Oprah lives in this building when she's filming her show. I wonder how she feels about the tour group pointing this out?
Harpo Studios! Okay - this was actually a really disappointing part of the tour. Nothing exciting here and Oprah's store is a complete ripoff.
Posing in front of the famous bean in Millenium Park
A view from the center of the bean. Kinda weird.
Another famous feature of Millenium Park. A giant screen that squirts water out onto screaming children.
Rawr! Oh T-Rex... your tiny little arms make me sad.
I was so excited to see these guys - the anti-Scientology group. I still have no idea why they were protesting here or why some dude is wearing a banana costume. But I definitely squealed, "Angie! Quick! Take their picture - I read about them in Maxim!!"
Having wine at Angie's friend's condo. Ridiculously nice condo.
A view from Angie's friend's condo. Amazing... and a bit vomit-inducing for those with a fear of heights.
Supposedly this is the best pizza in Chicago. It was good... but I'm not going to crave it fortnightly.
Running along Lake Michigan. I didn't ask Angie to take this picture, I swear! But wow - Chicago is a super fit city. I've never encountered so many runners/bikers early in the morning anywhere (except a race).
A view of the running path along Lake Michigan. Seriously - this is such a great area to run around.
So there you have it. We didn’t really go into any of the buildings (Hancock, Sears, Union Station…) because we really didn’t want to. We wanted to eat and just enjoy the city. I was blown away by the cleanliness of the city, the beauty of the buildings, the fabulous (and expensive) shopping along the Magnificent Mile and the ridiculously HIGH sales tax.
Seriously – the sales tax is over 10%. Angie’s friend pointed out that their sales tax is why their city is so nice (clean and covered with blooming flowers). Maryland’s is 6% and Baltimore is still a crap-hole (albeit a crap-hole that I love… but let’s be honest. Walking through Patterson Park will always include a discovery of: used condoms, needles, energy drink plastic bottles and cheap vodka bottles).